Attack From Mars

GeorgeH

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I tried the bump maps on the models for the aliens, small saucers and the big saucer. It didn't work very well for any of them. The depressions on the aliens ended up in the wrong places. There was only a barely noticeable change on the small saucers even when I set the strength really high. The big saucer looked like it was made from wrinkled metal. I will be deleting the objective to add bump maps. They don't help the table.

Anyway, I got the HUD Toggle key to work. I have tried coding the HUD Toggle a number of different ways. The way I do it now is the best. It saves your setting to the fpRam file for the table. So if you turn the HUD off, it stays off regardless of how many times you play and close the table.

I added an option that allows you to toggle the number of balls per game between 3 and 5 and the setting is saved between games.

The next thing to add the menu system. It looks like the options will be:

1) Lighting - 5 modes
2) Switch between original music and Slamt1lt's movie version.
3) Balls per game - 3 or 5 balls
4) HUD on/off
 

GeorgeH

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Yesterday, I forgot to post that I looked at the Zed version of this table. Tomboo who published the table had a good idea. You can press a key and see the number of martians you killed and the champion number killed. Every time I play the martian sequence, I always wonder how many martians I got. So I decided to add a similar DMD screen that displays it and the normal display that shows the bonus points cones after. It seems to work pretty well. I added a key press that displays the same info but I like the ingame display better.

Today I started early working on the menu system. To my surprise I completed it in 2 hours. Of course, I used a lot of the same stuff that I added to Road Girls that helped shorten the time.

I also added the BAM message that tells you that you are not using the correct version of BAM.

It looks like I am closing fast on completing the items on my bucket list.
 

GeorgeH

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Today I added some art work for the table loading screen. I added a landscape version for desktop users and a portrait version for cabinet users.

I tested Ravarcade's code that extends FPs point of high score overflow from 2 billion to 922 trillion. This table often awards millions of points so the developers divided the score by 100 to prevent high score overflow. Overflow basically generates an error message and stops all game play. I verified it works by adding a cheat that adds 900 trillion to the score.

I have been working on the siderails. After that is done, it is time to start writing the content for the posting.
 
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GeorgeH

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I have just finished the siderails. I started with the texture from the backwall and added some flying saucers that I found. I think it turned out well.

I guess it is time to start writing the content for the posting.

```Attack From Mars ULTIMATE 1.02-12.png
 

GeorgeH

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When you live with a problem for a long time, you get to a point where you don't notice it anymore. I lived with red light bleeding through the small saucers so long I stopped noticing it until yesterday. FP has 2 types of light. There is glow that bleeds through objects which you want to occur on plastics but not on the saucers. Then there is brightness that does not bleed through anything.

Before BAM, table developers could only reduce glow to 20 on bulbs. With BAM, I can reduce glow to 0. The left screenshot below is from version 1.1 of the table and shows one of the saucers where the glow is set to 20. The screenshot of the right is from my version where glow is set to 0. You might also notice the lighting on mine is different also. This is from the texture lighting I have mentioned before where I have adjusted both brightness and shininess.

1603826388710.png
1603826409358.png
 

Ike Savage

Froggy like robot
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Wow, yeah. Not that it likely matters too much given their tiny size, but the LED's on the left look pretty terrible indeed. That's a huge improvement on the right.

Meanwhile, is there a way to make the main red saucer plastic translucent? I used to own a replacement saucer I bought at a pinball show, and the plastic was very much translucent, not opaque.
 

GeorgeH

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Actually, the lights cycle on and off. I think I managed to take the screenshot on the left at a point when the lights were switching so all of the them are partially on so they are all a bit dimmed. ...But I still think the new version is much improved.

I also tweaked the lighting a bit more and adjusted the glow on several bulbs under the plastics. I guess I could post another screenshot of the playfield but screenshots don't do it much justice compared to seeing the table on your screen.

Edit: After playing it a bit tonight, I do think the saucer lights are brighter than they were. When I removed the glow, the saucer lights got dimmer. I increased the BAM brightness to compensate and must have made them brighter but they look good.
 
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GeorgeH

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I have been doing some searches and it seems that what I have been calling siderails are more often called "side blades". But I have seen them called side rails also. However, from what I have seen the metal trim pieces that go around the cabinet are frequently called side rails. Who'd a thought.

Anyway, I studied both ramps to see how I can improve their performance. I added an entrance ramp to both ramps and quite a few invisible walls and surfaces to the right ramp. It dramatically improves the performance. I had previously thought I just didn't hit the ramp right but finally decided I should be getting more hits from them.

For those of you that want to know the process I use, I use the roller ball and slowly navigate up the ramp. I watch for any sudden movement of the ball up down or sideways. On clear ramps, I temporarily change the ramp to a solid color. On "Independence Day", I found a peg sticking up through the plastic ramp by changing the color. Some table developers stack ramps on top of each other with some being invisible. The only way to determine which parts of the ramp are being used is to change each ramp a different color and see what color is on top when you play the table. The right ramp of AFM has a sharp curve where the ball would hit the wall at the curve and bounce back down. I added an invisible wall to reduce the sharpness a bit. I often zoom in on a certain part of the table and use the roller ball to move the ball along a certain part of the ramp. It gets trcky because you have to use the mouse to move the camera and the roller ball. Rav added a way to freeze the camera by pressing the F11 key a second time to lock it which I use a lot. I have actually added a wall with a V shape to hold the ball while I get the camera positioned.
 

GeorgeH

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Can anyone tell any difference between these two screenshots of the DMD? It might help to click on each image to make it fill the screen.

```Attack From Mars ULTIMATE 1.02-1.png

```Attack From Mars ULTIMATE 1.02-12.png
 

NitroNimbus

Pinball Wizard
I am Guessing one is using the DMD matrix code and one is not?
DispDmd1Ext.SetMatrixColor 255, 255, 255
xBAM.SetDefaultMatrixBaseColor 50, 0, 50

Does this AFM mod have Gimli's flying/rotating saucers, cheers!
 

Ike Savage

Froggy like robot
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Can anyone tell any difference between these two screenshots of the DMD? It might help to click on each image to make it fill the screen.
Looks like the 'off' intensity setting for pixels is set to zero in the second example, and something higher in the first one.

In VPMAME the user panel looks like this: (see lower left)

Settings28b-1.png
 

GeorgeH

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I am Guessing one is using the DMD matrix code and one is not?
DispDmd1Ext.SetMatrixColor 255, 255, 255
xBAM.SetDefaultMatrixBaseColor 50, 0, 50

Does this AFM mod have Gimli's flying/rotating saucers, cheers!

I did use this code to set the background of the DMD on both screenshots to near black (solid black doesn't look right to me):

xBAM.SetDefaultMatrixBaseColor 10, 0, 0

...But that does not affect the brightness of the unlit pixels. The "MatrixBaseColor" is the color of the background around the pixels and the "MatrixColor" is the color of the pixels themselves. From what I have seen, the "SetMatrixColor" code is only useful if you want to change the color of the DMD at different points in the script otherwise it is easier to just change the color of the DMD in the FP editor.

The only way to change the brightness of the unlit pixels on FP is to save a texture that looks like the texture below to a zip and save the zip with the table using the same name as the table. We can change the brightness of the dots in the texture to change the brightness of the pixels. There is a dot on the far left that I changed to solid black to make the unlit pixels black. Personally, I prefer the unlit pixels to match the background but the effect is rather subtle. You can try it but use the attached zip file and rename the entire zip file to the same same as your table. I had to change the bmp in the zip to a jpg in order to post it here.

464.jpg


I think the spinning saucers are novel but I honestly don't care much for them so I chose not to use them.

Interesting about VP though it appears there is no option to change the brightness of the "off" pixels. I learned something about VP yesterday. There is no backbox so they use B2S backglasses instead.
 

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  • ```Attack From Mars ULTIMATE 1.02-1.zip
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GeorgeH

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I ended up doing some more work on the left ramp. I discovered the ball was hitting a ring on the wire ramp that passes above the entrance to the plastic ramp. The ball also hitting a bracket for the saucer above the entrance to the ramp. No wonder the ramp wasn't performing very well. I ended up using a few objects from version 1.1 of the table. The wire ramp needed to go higher and the early version had the way that was needed. Anyway, the left ramp works beautifully now.

I made a few changes to the right ramp also.

It is definitely easier to get to the "Total Anniolation" game mode now.
 
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